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Govt funding for $2m plastic waka provokes outrage


Rugby World Cup project met with protest and howls of derision.

NBR staff
Wed, 06 Apr 2011

News that the government will spend almost $1.8 million on a  'plastic waka-shaped pavilion' to promote Maori culture during the Rugby World Cup has been met with protest and howls of derision.

Coming hot on the heels of Finance Minister Bill English's warning that the country will have to sacrifice some 'nice to haves' in order to fund the repair of earthquake-devastated Christchurch, the announcement of a $2 million 60-metre long, 15-metre high 'waka' which will belong to a hapu-owned company - despite being largely government funded - was not  welcomed.

Critics say the project should have gone out to tender and is an appalling use of taxpayer money. They have also said a plastic construction damages New Zealand's clean, green image.

Labour MP Shane Jones said the plan for the government to pay for a plastic waka during a time of austerity is "out to lunch".

ACT's Rodney Hide said it was appalling the government would spend $1.8 million for a waka that the people of New Zealand will not even own.

NBR staff
Wed, 06 Apr 2011
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Govt funding for $2m plastic waka provokes outrage
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